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Egypt History

Recorded history in Egypt began around 4,000 B.C. when B.C. nomadic hunters settled in the Nile Valley. But it was in 3,100 B.C. that Egypt crowned her first Pharaoh, Menes, who later unified the country's two regions, Lower Egypt (The Delta) and Upper Egypt (from Giza to Aswan in the South). Egypt's history can be summarized as follows:

Predynastic Egypt: C 5,000 - 3,200 B.C. 

Dynastic Egypt: C 3,200 - 2,700 B.C. Development of society,law and religion. 

The Old Kingdom: C 2,700 - 2,600 B.C.Great achievements especially in the fields of administration, astronomy and architecture. 

The Middle Kingdom: C 2,260 - 1,780 B.C. An era of prosperity and expansion of political strength and economic, horizons. Thebes became the capital. Later, Egypt was invaded by the Hyksos, coming from Caucasia, who remained for 150 years until finally driven back. 

The New Kingdom: C 1,580 - 1,085 B.C. Four centuries of splendor, prosperity and spiritual and artistic achievements.  Architecture reaches heights.   

The Decline: C 1,090 - 332 B.C. The country fell under the influence of priests. In 525 B.C. Egypt was conquered by the Persians. 

The Greco-Roman Period: C 332 B.C. - 640 A.D. In 332 B.C. Alexander the Great took possession of Egypt, called himself a Pharaoh, and founded the city of Alexandria. After his death, the Ptolemaic Dynasty was founded, and Alexandria flourished. Disputes and fratricidal wars ended the Greek domination marked by Cleopatra's suicide. Afterwards, Egypt became a Roman Province. 

The Coptic Period: 30 B.C. - 640 A.D. In 61 A.D. Chnstianity was introduced to Egypt by St. Mark who founded the Patriarchate of Alexandria, and by 190 A.D. there was a large and flourishing Christian community. After the Roman Empire was officially divided in 395 A.D., Egypt became a part of its Eastern portion, known as the Byzantine Empire whose religion was Christianity. A few years later, the Alexandria Patriarch preached a doctrine of Christianity which was rejected by th Byzantine Church.  Consequently, the Coptic Christians in Egypt were persecuted by the Melkite Orthodox. 

The Islamic Period: In 641 A.D., the Byzantines were defeated by Arab Moslem armies led by Amr Ibn El-As who built his capital near present-day Cairo. Egypt became an arab country with a Moslem majority and religious freedom was accorded to people. Later Egypt was invaded by Ottoman sultans who relied on Mamelouks (slaves) to govern the country. In 1798, Napoleon conquered Egypt but had to withdraw after his defeat at the naval battle of Abu-Kir, near Alexandria. An Albanian officer in the Ottoman service called Mohamed Ali declared himself ruler of the country, and during his reign (1805- 1849) in many fields, Egypt made tremendous progress; however, under the rule of his grandson, Khedive Ismail, the necessity for foreign capital to finance digging the Suez Canal lead to British rule in Egypt. 

The 1952 Revolution: In 1952, the royal dynasty established by Mohamed Au came to an end when a group of army officers forced the abdication of King Farouk, and in 1954 Gamal Abdel-Nasser became Egypt's president. Egypt was proclaimed a republic. After his death in 1970, Nasser was succeeded by Mohamed Anwar El-Sadat who was assassinated in 1981. Mohamed Hosni Moubarak was elected to Presidency. 

The Egyptian Government: Egypt is called the Arab Republic of Egypt. The system of government is democratic presidential. The president is nominated by the People's Assembly composed of 350 members and approved through popular referendum. He serves a 6 -year term and may be re-elected for further terms of office.


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